Psoriasis is a condition that is visible on the skin, the largest organ in the human body. But can it affect other organs too? In this blog, we investigate if psoriasis is more than skin deep.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by the immune system attacking the skin, leading to a rapid build up of excess cells. These manifest as itchy patches, often covered in plaques or scales. The patches may be raised and inflamed and, depending on the colour of a person’s skin, might appear flushed or darker, while scales may appear silvery.
The skin is the largest organ and psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body, although it is most common on the scalp, arms, legs, torso and back. It can also appear in sensitive areas where skin touches skin; for example in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, around the genitals and in skin folds. It can also show up on the hands, fingertips, feet and on fingernails and toenails.
But although psoriasis is classed as a dermatologic disease, the systemic inflammation it causes can also affect the joints, arteries and other internal organs. As a result, psoriasis sufferers are more likely to be at risk of developing conditions, such as:
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Crohn's disease
- Lung diseases
- Some cancers
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Liver diseases
This doesn’t mean that every psoriasis sufferer will inevitably contract one or more of these diseases, but it is important to be aware of the risks. We recommend that you discuss your overall psoriasis treatment plan with a doctor and, where possible, have regular screenings to rule out more serious conditions.
Because psoriasis sufferers can be at greater risk of developing lung disease; it is particularly advised that you take a proactive approach to lung health by avoiding or wearing a filtration mask when exposed to environmental irritants such as chemicals, dust, smoke and asbestos. Your doctor may advise you on your risk of lung disease, taking into account your family history and your age and tell you to avoid specific medications.
Making lifestyle changes can be incredibly helpful for psoriasis sufferers. Adopting a nutritious diet, quitting smoking and boosting the immune system have all been shown to have beneficial effects, in some cases lowering the risks of comorbidities.
Take a look at our other blogs on the subject, particularly psoriasis-campaigner Jude Duncan’s article on how to manage psoriasis triggers.
Recommended products for skin prone to psoriasis
As well as keeping your overall health in great shape, we recommend the following three natural products to alleviate itchiness and discomfort caused by psoriasis.
Balmonds Skin Salvation
our traditional balm is gently formulated with natural ingredients to reduce the risk of skin irritation and itchiness associated with psoriasis.
Bath & Body Oil
free from parabens, petrochemicals and perfect for skin prone to psoriasis.
Balmonds Scalp Oil
our beautiful blend or herb infused oils is perfect not only for hydrating scalp psoriasis, but can be used holistically on the body as a deeply moisturising treatment.